Luis Meléndez - Still Lifes.
16th June – 5th September 2004.
Supported by CAF, Ferrovial, Iberia, España Accion Cultural Exterior
An exhibition of 40 paintings by Luis Meléndez (1716-1780), one of the greatest Spanish still-life painters of the eighteenth century was organised in collaboration with the Prado Museum in Madrid. It featured 20 paintings from the Prado with the remainder drawn from other public and private collections around the world.
Each still-life painting by Meléndez is visually arresting and compelling and reveals a wonderful technical skill at constructing compositions. Among the works on display were Still life with Oranges, Walnuts and Boxes of Sweetmeats (National Gallery, London); Still life with a Plate of Plums, Pears and Fruit Basket (Masaveu Collection, Museo de Bellas Artes, Asturias); Still life with Red Breams and Oranges (Private Collection); Still life with Pomegranates, Apples and Grapes (Prado Museum, Madrid).
In the accompanying exhibition catalogue, Dr. Peter Cherry (Trinity College Dublin), who selected the works for the show with Dr. Juan Luna (Prado, Madrid), said that all his life, Meléndez wanted to be appointed an artist to the Spanish Court. His repeated efforts, however, only ended in failure. But his loss was our gain. "The large body of work that Melendez left, currently standing at well over one hundred still lifes, is testimony to his unique achievement as a Spanish artist of the eighteenth century, that places him alongside the greatest still life painters of Europe", says Dr. Cherry.
Luis Meléndez - Still Lifes
© 2004 National Gallery of Ireland and the Authors
Peter Cherry and Juan J. Luna
Editors Susan O’Connor and Isabella Evangelisti